The Philadelphia Housing Authority is set to complete construction of the NC Five apartment complex, located on Berks Street near 10th, by Oct. 1.
The construction is part of the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s jurisdiction, northeast of Temple University’s campus and it is the fifth phase of the PHA’s North Central Choice Neighborhood: Housing Plan, a five-phase project to provide affordable housing for the North Central Philadelphia neighborhood.
PHA owns the construction, but Rose Community Management is in charge of finding tenants and maintaining the building, said Pat Coley, community manager of the property.
“Our construction crews are definitely working on the final touches,” Coley said. “We are going through our closing punch list to sign over the property for residency.”
The goal of the project is to house local Philadelphia residents that belong to the Rental Assistance Demonstration program of PHA, which provides affordable housing to community members. The RAD program will get help from public housing agencies and city public equity to give community members access to long-term homes and sometimes home ownership, Coley said.
NC Five apartments will also utilize the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program that is a part of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Coley said.
“Many of the units have tax credit, which means there is a subsidy on the house,” said Donna Richardson, Norris Community Council president. “You get a four bedroom house with two baths, and where you have to pay $2,500 around the city, you only have to pay between $900 to $1,200. It gives people housing they cannot normally afford.”
Other units within the complex are available for anyone, including Temple students, Coley said.
The building is replacing a 147-unit low-rise public housing development that was built in the late 1950s, The Temple News reported.
“There were 147 homes present, and we asked to be given 147 units of the construction back to the people at PHA, and they did that,” Richardson said.
The building will be used for residential units with the potential of one commercial space.
“Ninety-nine point nine percent of the building will be residential, but we want to have one commercial space on the bottom floor,” Coley said. “Hopefully it’s a coffee shop.”
The building will also offer studio apartments, as well as apartments ranging in size from one to three bedrooms, Coley said.
The COVID-19 pandemic did not have a large effect on the construction of the complex but did stall construction crews during the initial shutdown in 2020, Coley said.
North Central businesses are not affected by the construction of the complex on the east side of Temple University, employees at local businesses said.
“There is always a lot of construction happening around here,” said Lena Idrissi who works at Pharmacy of America IV on 9th street near Norris and Berks. “We do not really notice anything new, but we will take the new people around.”
Tenants from PHA and from Rose Community Management, will be allowed to move into the new building once construction checklists are finalized and once residential inspections are completed, Coley said.
“As long as we were given our 147 units back, we are happy, and the units can be filled with Temple students or Philly residents,” Richardson said.